Best Climbing Harness – With Comparison Table (2019) - Mountain IQ

Best Climbing Harness – With Comparison Table (2019)

Best Climbing Harness

This review discusses the best climbing harnesses for climbing currently on the market. 

Are you looking to replace your old climbing harness, upgrade to a newer version or you simply want to enter the wonderful world of climbing?

Check out our comprehensive guide on the best climbing harnesses to ensure you make the right decision based on your discipline, level of skills and budget.

Read More Climbing Reviews: Chalk Bags | Climbing Shoes | Helmets | Ice Axes | Rope Bags | Quickdraws | Belay Device 

Best Climbing Harness

Black Diamond Momentum

Black Diamond Momentum Harness is affordable and comes packed with features. It is he best all-rounder harness you can get. Besides being a bit on the bulky side, it is a definite winner.

Available at:

Top 5 Harnesses - Comparison Table

Take a look at the comparison table below before moving on, it might help you make a quick decision based on the most important specs.

Gear

Rating

Leg Loops

Gear Loops

Weight

#1

Black Diamond Momentum

Best Overall

Adjustable

4

350g

#2

Arc’teryx FL-365

Best for Outdoors

Fixed

4

365g

#3

Petzl Sitta

Best Lightweight

Fixed

4

275g

#4

Edelrid Jay II

Best for Beginners

Adjustable

4

437g

#5

Black Diamond Solution

Very Comfortable

Fixed

4

330g

1. Best Overall Harness

​Black Diamond Momentum

5/5 Overall Rating

The Black Diamond Momentum is one of the best all-rounder harnesses on the market and at an extremely attractive price.

In fact, the Black Diamond Momentum is just as good, if not better than some of is more expensive competitors. The harness is designed to be used everywhere from indoor climbing routes to outdoor sports routes.

The harness’ Duel Core Construction helps to distribute your weight evenly and gives you the perfect combination of support and lightness.
Maximum breathability is achieved through the quick-drying Openair waist belt that encases a supportive insert between two separate bands of webbing.

The harness uses a Speed Adjust buckle which saves time and eliminates the chance of making a mistake when tying in.

The TrakFIT leg loops are fully adjustable, which is great when you have to accommodate extra layers of clothing when alpine or ice climbing.

Available at:
Main Features
  • Duel Core Construction (foam)
  • Quick-drying Openair waist belt 
  • Speed Adjust buckle
  • TrakFIt Adjustable leg loops
  • 4 pressure-molded gear loops
  • Sturdy haul loop
What we like
  • Adjustable
  • Affordable
  • Simple and easy leg loop adjustment buckles
  • Rigid and flat gear loops
What we dislike
  • Bulky
  • Small gear loops
Key Takeway

This harness is affordable and comes packed with features. It is he best all-rounder harness you can get. Besides being a bit on the bulky side, it is a definite winner.

2. Best Harness for Outdoor Climbing

Arc’teryx FL-365

5/5 Overall Rating

The Arc’teryx FL-365 is a premium quality climbing harness, targeted at those who intend to climb a lot as well as those who value comfort and a quality build.

What makes this harness a standout is its great gear capabilities.

The harness has wide gear loops that are shaped to funnel your gear toward the front of your harness. Its wide haul loop is essentially a fifth gear loop, and the harness also has 4 ice clipper slots.

The harness is easy to rack up. It moves with your body and packs down small. Yes, it is quite pricey, but it is definitely worth it for avid climbers.

The climbing harness is dedicated to outdoor climbs, has fixed leg loops and is reasonably comfortable and well-designed.

Available at:
Main Features
  • Warp Strength Technology
  • Burly double weave four-way stretch fabric
  • Self-locking waist buckle
  • Fixed leg loops
  • Stretch mesh storage bag
  • Rear haul loop
  • 4 gear loops
What we like
  • Comfortable 
  • Slim
  • Premium construction
What we dislike
  • Pricey
Key Takeaway

The Arc’teryx FL-365 is definitely expensive, but if you are an avid outdoor climber that intends on using this harness a lot, the price tag is well worth it.

3. Best Lightweight Harness

Petzl Sitta

4.5/5 Overall Rating

The Petzl Sitta is a high-end technical harness for professionals that gives climbers total freedom of movement. 

At 275 grams, the Petzl Sitta is remarkably light. This harness is geared towards mountaineering and climbing and offers maximum comfort and compactness in a lightweight package.

The design allows for optimal weight distribution without the use of foam because Spectra strands are used in the leg loops and waist belt.

This ‘Wireframe technology’ uses parallel strands of strong and ultralight Spectra to distribute the load over the waist belt and leg loops.

The super sleek design focuses on compactness and the bonded fabric helps to avoid pressure points and offers optimal wear resistance.

The harness also features reinforced tie-points to resist the wear and tear from rope friction.

Because of the nature of the harness it has minimal gear loops and features practical details like separated gear loops and a leg loop height adjuster.

Available at:
Main Features
  • Fixed leg loops
  • Wireframe technology (Spectra)
  • 4 gear loops
What we like
  • Very lightweight with a premium Petzl build
  • Super packable
  • Mobile and versatile
What we dislike
  • Not as comfortable for prolonged hanging
Key Takeaway

The Petzl Sitta is a lightweight high-end harness with a top shelf price tag. This harness would not be recommended for casual climbers.

4. Best Beginner Harness

Edelrid Jay II

4/5 Overall Rating

The Edelrid Jay II is the ideal generalist and top beginner harness you can find. It combines good comfort and great features at an attractive price. 

The harness is stable and supportive and has adjustable leg loops for full customization.

The sliding belt design, which allows the main belt to slide through the frame of the padding, helps to keep your gear and belay loops centered.

The harness has a lower tie-in point which is bolstered by a rigid plastic semicircle which makes the harness a little more durable.

The Edelrid Jay II is best for sport or trad climbing and utilises 3D mesh padding to give your harness extra support. It also has glider buckles on the waist belt and leg loops which allow for adjustments.

Available at:
Main Features
  • Sliding belt design
  • Lower tie-in point 
  • Abrasion protector at tie-in point
  • Attachment for ice screw clips 
  • 3D mesh padding 
  • Fit for larger waist sizes
  • 4 gear loops
  • Adjustable leg loops
What we like
  • Well-constructed
  • Highly adjustable
  • Versatile and durable
What we dislike
  • Not lightweight or packable
Key Takeaway

The Edelrid Jay II is the perfect beginner climbing harness as well as being wonderfully affordable. Its main hinderance is its weight, but at such a great price it is a small price to pay.

5. Very Comfortable Harness

Black Diamond Solution

4/5 Overall Rating

The Black Diamond Solution, which is a favorite for sport climbing, is known for its unrivalled comfort and affordable price.

It utilises Fusion Comfort Construction, a design that employs three very thin strips of webbing spread out through the waist belt and leg loops to help diffuse pressure on the back, hips and hamstrings. The design moves with your body while providing load distribution and comfort.

The leg loops and waist belt are wide for support and comfort and the material is quick-drying and breathable.

Although incredibly comfortable, the Black Diamond Solution does come with a few downsides, the minimal gear loops and lack of haul loop mean the harness is not a good choice for long-free or alpine climbs.

But if you are looking for the best sport climbing harness, the Black Diamond Solution is the best you can get.

Available at:
Main Features
  • Fusion Comfort Construction 
  • Fixed leg loops
  • 4 gear loops
  • Wide leg loops and waist belt
What we like
  • Unrivalled comfort 
  • Super light
  • Affordable
What we dislike
  • Small gear loops
  • Not versatile for other styles of climbing
Key Takeaway

The Black Diamond solution is the most comfortable harness you can buy. But it is best for sport climbing and may not be a great choice for other types of climbing.

Climbing Harness - Buyer's Guide (Key Features)

Below is information on what you want to consider before you purchase a climbing harness to ensure you make the right choice for your personal climbing needs.

Purpose

Different harnesses are used for different climbing subdisciplines.

Alpine Rock: You will want a harness that is durable, has large gear loops, a haul loop and maybe even ice clipper slots.

Big Wall: These harnesses tend to be pricier, as they will have all the bells and whistles.

Gym: You will be looking for a harness that is comfortable, durable and inexpensive. You will not need a bunch of fancy features with a gym harness, however, you will want a harness that has good padding.

Mountaineering: A mountaineering harness should be minimalistic, lightweight and easy to get on and off. You will also want a harness to be comfortable to walk in.

Sport: Like a mountaineering harness, you will want a minimalistic harness that allows for freedom of movement. Smaller gear loops won’t be a huge issue.

Trad: These will be more full-featured harnesses. They will need to have at least 4 gear loops and a rear haul loop along with a wide waist belt and leg loops.

Size & Compfort

Having a well-fit harness is absolutely critical for safety while you climb. The waist belt shouldn’t slide over your hips if you were to flip upside down.

The comfort of your harness can greatly improve your climbing experience.

Leg Loops

Leg loops will either be fixed or adjustable. Many people prefer fixed leg loops at they are less bulky, lighter and easy to take off and put on. But fixed leg loops may not be suitable for all body types. Adjustable leg loops are best if you don’t fit comfortably in fixed leg loops. Adjustable leg loops also make it easier to layer clothes.

Gear Loops

Gear loops make climbing life more convenient. It is essential to have at least 4 gear loops if you will be climbing outdoors to ensure you have easy access to all your equipment. You’ll want larger, sturdier loops.

Weight

The weight you want your harness to be comes down to personal preference, but a lot of people prefer lightweight, less bulky harnesses.

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